There is a huge runner community in Western North Carolina, and many of us have families and kids. If you’re like me, I love running races on my own. I love the training, the camaraderie and challenging myself to race a better time, but other times, I enjoy racing with my family or my children, or at the least, run in races that are family-friendly so the kiddos have some fun too. Sometimes it’s hard to weed through the hundreds of races to know which ones are family-friendly.
Here I’ve compiled a list of family-friendly races in WNC for Summer 2015 (June through the end of August). I’ll update periodically as I hear of new races. I’ve given you a brief description of each family-friendly race and have linked you to the description/sign-up page for each respective race. Hope to see you on the route!
Hound Hustle & Cougar Country 5K: Saturday, May 23, 2015
This 5K race in Burnsville, NC is dually sponsored by Yancey Humane Society and Mountain Heritage High School Cross Country team. Proceeds will benefit both groups. The race starts at 10:00 am and ends at approximately 1:00 pm. T-shirt/bib pick-up time begins at 8:00 am that day. It’s professionally timed and the registration fee is $25. Runners of all ages are welcome to compete. Top three runners will receive medals in two age categories (14 & older and 13 & under). The 1 mile Fun Walk will take place on the off road scenic trail.
White Squirrel Festival 5K and 10K: Saturday, May 23, 2015
This race begins and ends at Brevard College and is held in conjunction with the annual White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard. Race day registration starts at 6:00 am, and the race starts at 8:00 am. Cost is $30 to $35 depending on age group. There is a Fun Run/Walk for family members of all ages. Individuals ages 6 and up can participate in the 5K and 10K races. Once the race is finished, you can head to the festival with your family and enjoy a day of music, food, dancing, kid fun games, tours, crafts, art and much more. From what I’ve heard, this rate route is beautiful.
No Excuse for Abuse 5K: Saturday, May 30, 2015
This 5K race is held in Marion, NC. You can sign up online or you can mail in your registration. You can pick up packets the day before or on race day. Race day pick-up is from 7:30-8:30 am and the race begins at 9:00 am. There is a ’12 & Under’ category, so appears that children of all ages can run or parents are welcome to push little ones in jogging strollers. Registration fee is $25.
Orchard at Altapass 4 Miler: Saturday, May 30, 2015
This four mile race in Spruce Pine parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the description of this race, the route sounds incredibly gorgeous. The race starts on Orchard Road then weaves for three miles through the orchard then finishes on a downhill slope. It sounds like a nice course. The Orchard at Altapass will be open during the race for fun and exploration by friends and family members cheering on runners. The Kids Run (one mile) will be held just before the awards ceremony. Runners can pick up packets at Olin Hefner Pavilion beginning at 8:00 a.m on race day. The race begins at 9:00 am at the Olin Hefner Pavilion. Registration fee is $20 for two more days, then increases to $25. Kids Run fee is $15.
Foot Rx Asheville $5 5K at Fletcher Park: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
This sounds like a really cool concept. Foot Rx Asheville describes their series of races like this, “On the second Wednesday of each month, Foot Rx hosts a no-frills laid back 5k with an entrance fee of 5$. All the proceeds go to benefit a local organization that is making a difference in our community.” The one on June 3 begins at Fletcher Park in Fletcher, NC at 6:30 pm. This type of chilled-out, inexpensive race would be great for younger family members who are just entering the running realm or for people looking for a race environment for training reasons.
Asheville Half Marathon and 10K: Saturday, June 6, 2015
The 13.1 Asheville Half Marathon and 10K begins and ends in Pack Square. The route weaves through the streets of Asheville and along the French Broad River. Runners are asked to be there at 6:30 am and the race begins at 7:00 am. The deadline to register is June 4, and there is NO packet pick-up the day of the race. All packets must be picked up the day before at the Expo held at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel 31 Woodfin Street Asheville, North Carolina 28801. The fee to register is $85 for the half and $55 for the 10K. Even if only one or two members of the family are running the race, it sounds like a very family-friendly, festive event. There’s live music and food. Sounds like a lot of fun.
Pinnacle Mustache Dash 5K and Fun Run: Saturday, June 6, 2015
This will be the first annual Mustache Dash race hosted by Pinnacle Church in Canton, NC. Registration fee for the 5K is $20 before May 25 and $25 after May 25. Registration fee for the Fun Run is $10 before May 25 and $15 after. They have a 12 & under age group for the 5K in addition to the Fun Run, so it sounds like family members of all ages are welcome. Onsite registration and packet pick-up will be from 8:00-9:45, the Fun Run will begin at 10:00 and the 5K at 10:30. The race will begin at Pinnacle Church (101 Fibreville St, Canton, NC US 28716) and money will go toward two summer mission trips. As a fun spin, various awards will be given for mustaches in different categories, along with the actual race awards.
Run for Kids Sake 5K/10 Miler: Saturday, June 13, 2015
This race is held on the campus of Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. The 10 mile course is challenging, fun and hilly and weaves through teh trails on the college’s campus. No strollers and dogs are allowed. Runners and walkers are welcome to run/walk the 5K race. Runners can pick up packets on Friday, June 12 between 5:00 and 7:00 in the United Way building: 50 S. French Broad Avenue Asheville, NC 28801. Race day registration and packet pick-up will be between 7:00 and 8:00 on June 13. It sounds like babies in strollers are now allowed due to the terrain and hilliness, but young runners are welcome to run/walk the 5K course.
This race has been around for a while and sounds like a fun, festive event. The annual Braveheart 5K & Rob Roy FUN! Run/Walk is held before the annual Taste of Scotland Festival (always on Father’s Day weekend) in downtown Franklin, NC. Race day registration begins at 8:00 am, the Rob Roy FUN! Run/Walk starts at 8:30 and the Braveheart 5K begins at 9:00. Awards will be given for the Fun Run and the 5K.
Bryson City Firecracker 5K: Saturday, July 4, 2015
July 4th is on a Saturday this year, and I think it would be really fun to kick off the day with a race. This race, which runs through Bryson City and the Deep Creek community is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club. Advance registration closed June 25, 2015 ($28 for adults and $22 for children, 17 and under). Race day registration will run from 6:30-7:30 am, and the race starts at 8:00. Registration fee only goes up a couple of dollars when you register the day of. The start is at the Swain County Administration Building.
Firecracker 5K in Weaverville: Saturday, July 4, 2015
This is a festive and longstanding event (22 years!) held in downtown Weaverville, NC, about 10 miles north of Asheville. The race is hosted by North Buncombe Kiwanis Club. Proceeds to go toward scholarships for North Buncombe High School students. The race course begins at PNC Bank on Weaverville Boulevard, turns right onto Main Street and continues through residential neighborhoods and parts of beautiful downtown Weaverville. The race ends back at PNC Bank. The entry fee for the race is $25 through June 20, 2015, and $30 after June 20. Online and mail-in registration ends 48 hours before the race. At that point, runners can only register the day of the race. There is a 12 and under age category, but strollers and baby joggers are prohibited. Packets can be picked up starting at 7:00 am the day of the race.
Brevard Firecracker 5K/10K and Fun Run: Saturday, July 4, 2015
This exciting annual event starts and finishes at Brevard College and is meant to kick off the all-day July 4th festival held in downtown Brevard. The race website encourages folks to bring the entire family and make a weekend of it. The festival has live music, food, games, crafts, etc. Race registration fees range from $10-$30 and vary depending on a number of factors (age, type of race, military affiliation, date of registration). There is also an option for corporate group to enter as one entity. The race begins at 8:00 am and same-day packet pick-up starts at 6am. The route meanders through rolling hills and neighborhoods while the one mile Fun Run remains safely on the college’s campus.
The Color Run-Asheville: July 25, 2015
This fun and colorful run is super popular in Asheville and across the country. It’s customary to register as a group and run as a team, but you can certainly run individually as well. This race has a “start window” where different groups start at different time. The website says, “The start-line window will open at 7:45 AM with waves going every few minutes until 9:00 AM! Make sure you plan your day with plenty of time. At The Color Run, the start line is its own pre-race party with music, dancing, warmup stretching and giveaways!” They don’t all of the information on the website yet, so keep checking back, but it sounds like an amazing time! Also, my friend who blogs at Love, Jaime is offering a promo code. You can check that out by clicking HERE. My family will be running in this one. Hope to see you there!